Interventions: Autism Care Farms for Housing, Events, and Therapy

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Interventions: Autism Care Farms for Housing, Events, and Therapy

In Britain and the US, there are growing numbers of “Care Farms”.  These are different from farms with therapeutic animals, in that care farms provide:

  • Housing, farm work, small business employment, and other supports for adults with disabilities which offer quality of life well beyond what’s usually available in urban supported housing.
  • Programming, summer camps, outdoor therapies, and special events for children with disabilities, ones which show much greater health and learning benefits because nature decreases stress.
  • Events and drop-ins for families with disabled family members who are yearning for accepting, non-judgmental places to have a picnic, spend time with animals, and meet like-minded families.

Nature Releases Stress…

Nature, wilderness in particular, has been a primary force in my own capacity to optimize my autism, gain real quality of life and function.  The research for non-autistics is undeniable.

Health benefits and learning benefits from even seeing nature out a window are dramatic.  There’s a whole module in my How to Thrive With Autism program just on nature benefits.

So I’m really excited to share this interview with you.  Stephanie Deaken and Breanne Mathers are therapists from a Toronto Children’s hospital who shared a dream.  They wanted to support children in accessing the benefits of nature, and they wanted a work environment they loved…

They created Fiddlehead Care Farm in Mono Township.  It’s a 50 acre farm with cuddly therapy animals (including a therapy PIG, wow) and lots of possibilities for free play, as well as to get therapeutic support for children, youth, and adults.

Let Them Know What Events YOU Want!

In this interview I’ve shared with you, Breanne and Stephanie make it clear that they want to hear from you.  I hope I’ve transmitted even just a little of the excitement I feel, knowing they’re in my neighbourhood…

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